“Let the man be the man; but what about the woman?”

Valentine’s Day is coming up and women expect so many things from their significant other to commemorate a day that is believed created for the sole purpose of romance. Some, just one month into their relationship may be yearning for stuffed bears and chocolates and candy.  While some other women in even longer relationships dream of the perfect proposal on this day, with many often coming away disappointed if it doesn’t happen. But what if I told you, men don’t ALWAYS have to propose?

I once heard a woman state she will “Never, I repeat, never propose to a man.” Of course the girlfriends chimed in about how “desperate” a woman is to do something like that. The word “castration” was even thrown around, when discussing what it will do to a man.

WOMEN PROPOSING TO MEN. PHOTO FROM TOUCHSTONE PICTURES MOVIE ‘THE PROPOSAL”
WOMEN PROPOSING TO MEN. PHOTO FROM TOUCHSTONE PICTURES MOVIE ‘THE PROPOSAL”

The problem with attempting to create an equal space for women is that most women are more confused than ever about what they really want. We are in the age where women go for what they what in life – generally speaking. We want that job, we go for it. We want that car, we go for it. We want to make money for that fabulous pair of shoes, we go for it. And of course, when we want that man, we go for it – even if he belongs to someone else sadly. So dare I ask, what’s the issue with asking a man to marry me if that is what I want? I’ve heard the reasoning that, if a man wants to marry you he will ask, therefore a woman asking first may be forcing him into a situation he is not ready to be in. There is some truth to that, but he can say no right? And isn’t it the same when a man asks for a woman’s hand in marriage? He could very well also be putting her in a situation she’s not ready for. Or is it still the belief that marriage is the end goal of all women so whenever a man asks the answer will always be yes, no hesitation, no awkward situation? For a marriage proposal to work, the subject of marriage would have been discussed before a proposal (by either parties) would have been brought up. A woman cannot “trap” a man into marriage with a proposal if it is the intention of both parties to get married. A woman, or man, would have to be out of their mind to propose – publicly or privately- without knowing if their partner feels the same way.

We can also discuss tradition. “Let the man be the man” because it is tradition for men to propose. That’s what they should do. Sure, but there are many traditions that have changed due to the shift in society and gender roles.It was traditional for men to propose because it was also required that women stay in their place and allow men to make all the decisions. I ask you, woman who is appalled or too afraid to ask a man to marry you for fear of looking desperate: are you still required to stay in your place, or do you not now make life altering decisions that were usually the role of a man years ago? Sit with that for a minute. However, it should also be considered that even though I and many other progressive women may feel this way about traditions, it is possible that their man may be set on the traditional way of doing things. But this is not something to fight over. A traditional man and a progressive woman would also discuss things they are comfortable with. As a result, the woman proposing will never come as a surprise to him because he knows that’s “how his girl rolls” and vice versa.  Who knows, it may be end up being a fun race to see who formally pops the question first.

Sometimes, women make situations a lot more difficult than they need to be. Don’t tell me you’re an “independent woman” who goes for what you want, but can’t ask a man to marry you. You’re even confusing the men, who are now unsure how to treat the “independent women” of today: “should I give her my jacket, or will she be mad?” Poor confused bastards. However, I believe most of this hoopla about proposing to men is really more about it being done in public. I’m personally not a fan of public proposals. I will prefer to keep a situation like this intimate and private. Therefore, any marriage discussion with my significant other will clearly state: No public proposals.

Realistically, some men may feel emasculated  if asked publicly by a woman to marry her, but be quite comfortable with it if done in private. This is the pressures of society and every individual deals with it differently. Ladies, if you believe this is your man, please do not publicly propose to him. But as I’m saying this to women, I am also saying this to men: if you know your woman will not be comfortable with a public proposal, please do not do it. And this decision my friends, is equality is action. I myself may or may not ask someone to marry me. (When that time comes, I guess you will know). But it is good to know that I have that option; that I don’t have to wait for someone to ask me.

Get it together ladies. When on the path to achieving goals there’s no room for flip-floppers. It’s either you’re in or out. We can never move forward together as a gender when we protest and beg for certain rights and privileges and when we receive them, there is a divide among us, tearing other women down for actually utilizing the rights that we have been fighting for.

Men can be men, but why can’t a woman be a woman?  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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